Track intercept study of medium to large furbearers, Wildcat Hollow Wilderness Area, Andorra Forest, Stoddard, NH

Cox, Stephen S.
Rick Van de Poll
Department of Environmental Studies
A snow track intercept study of medium to large mammals was conducted on the Wildcat Hollow Wilderness Area of the Andorra Forest, Stoddard, New Hampshire during January – March of 200. A total of 863 tracks were recorded on 7.4 kilometers of straight line transects and another 479 were recorded on 5.9 kilometers of roads and trails connecting the transects. White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) was the most frequent species recorded (32% of track intercepts) with Snowshoe Hare (Lepus americanus) 18.3%, Fisher (Martes pennanti) 15.2%, Moose (Alces alces) 13.6%, and Ermine (Mustela erminea) 7.7% the other significant species. Analysis of track frequency within each cover type was performed on all transect data. Track frequencies among all species as aggregated occurred within softwood cover greater than expected statistically (p < 0.05) and open land less than expected (p < 0.01) White tailed deer avoided open (p< 0.05) and mixed (p < 0.01) cover types. Moose utilized mixed (p < 0.01) and mixed hardwood dominant cover (p < 0.01 ) greater than expected. Snowshoe hare had a strong preference for softwood ( p < 0.01), preference for mixed (p <0.01) and a mild avoidance of hardwood cover (p <0.05). Individual species accounts discuss the intercept data relative to species ecology and the habitats present on the study site. Potential future trends in species abundance are considered in the context of local forest succession. GIS-based track distribution maps are presented for all recorded species. These are color-coded on a 50-meter basis according to track intercept frequency along each transect.

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